News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists
SUNDAY, JANUARY 16, 2005
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SCOTT MORRIS

A Trinity Mutt steals a man's leg

Mutt's first encounter with a prosthetic leg stunned both him and the leg's owner.

The leg belongs to Jack Scott, who co-owns S&R Home Healthcare Equipment and Repair in Hartselle.

Mutt, an English bulldog, belongs to Tommy and Martha Terry of Trinity.

Their paths crossed recently when Jack went to the Terrys' home to repair a broken lift chair, which had stranded Martha's disabled father at the top of the stairs.

"The dog met me before anyone else did," Jack said. "He was in a real happy mood, if you know what I mean."

Mutt had an instant affection for Jack's prosthetic leg and kept trying to claim it for his own.

Jack got past Mutt, made it inside with his toolbox, went to the third stair and started the repair.

Meanwhile, Horace Crow, the man stranded at the top of the stairs, watched from above.

During this time, Mutt kept tugging at the leg until he got more than he expected.

Jack protested.

"Well, just kick him," Horace advised.

"I can't," Jack answered. "He ran off with my leg."

That's when Horace tried to alert the Terrys.

"There goes his leg!" Horace yelled.

Jack said the Terrys stopped Mutt in the yard and confiscated his prize.

Jack can laugh about Mutt and he can relate to the people with disabilities who struggle to find help. He lost his leg after 5 tons of steel fell on him at his former job.

"I've been a one-legged man for 10 years," he said. "I have a real soft spot for people who need our help."

Sometimes that involves dealing with mutts.

Sometimes it means finding or repairing equipment for people who can't get help from the government.

Sometimes it means going to remote places, including rural Mississippi, where his partner went last week to repair a power chair. According to Jack, the caller in Mississippi gave the following directions to his house:

"Go to the big oak tree with the house built in it, go past it 200 yards on the left. I'll be in the yard waving my arms."

Jack said his partner carried a global positioning system tracking unit in case things went bad.

The affair with Mutt embarrassed Martha, but she was relieved by Jack's good-natured reaction.

"It really wasn't a laughing matter, but the man took it really well and was laughing about it," she said.

"Mutt is real playful and will grab at your britches," she added. "When he grabbed at his leg, it just came off. I know it stunned Mutt and he just ran off with it."

Scott Morris Scott Morris
DAILY City Editor

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